The Humble Buddleia
Written by: Sumati Shah
Winter Solstice daydreaming.
What a stunner. Truly the most vivid colour is what stopped my scrolling through all the photos from my garden and walking adventures this year.
We’re on the sunny side of the winter Solstice. While a white Christmas is still on my mind, the seed catalogue also just arrived – so I’m also dreaming of longer summer days and the flashes of brilliant colour and life that come with them. Behold the ultraviolet beauty of the humble butterfly bush: friend of gardeners and butterflies everywhere (well – at least in a lot of NA and EU gardens and parks!)
This one is a self seeding type. They can be prolific self-seeders from about zone 6b and warmer, but also pretty easy to control, so totally worth it in my opinion. Plus, self-seeders means your short lived (because they generally are) beautiful butterfly bush isn’t ‘lost’ to you when it finally kicks it – there’s likely another one not too far away!
There are cultivated varieties easily available which are sterile and won’t propagate – certainly easier for low maintenance prioritization if that’s a need for you.
No matter which type, there are whites, purples and pinks, magenta! Even a yellow type with round pom pom flower heads!
Rule of Green Thumbs: Choose your Buddleia and plant! It’s hard to go wrong and come summer, the butterflies and hummingbirds (if you have them) will confirm your decision regularly.
As the name promises, the butterflies love them and you’ll seldom find the plant without a proboscis stuffed down into their blooms while they’re in flower.
They like a little winter protection and they benefit from annual pruning and … they are the easiest showiest shrub that you could plant.
So…which one’s gonna be yours?
Bonus ProTip: Plant it where you can observe it from indoors too…you’ll catch more butterfly and hummingbird action that way.
Go Go Green Thumbs!